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Environmental ethics is the study of ethical questions raised by human relationships with he nonhuman environment. (Palmer et all, 2014*)

Created in the 1960s, the concept of environmental ethics has philosophical origins and consists of a set of theories and practical indications that have the environment as their focus, thus broadening the concept of ethics as a way of acting of man in his social environment, as it also refers to his way of acting in relation to nature. Aimed at promoting a closer and more caring relationship with the natural environment, environmental ethics advocates that relationships among human beings should be respectful and constructive, and that this logic should extend to the relationship with animals, plants, species, and ecosystems.

The environmental variation of ethics, despite its apparent simplicity, is complex and to this day deserves attention from specialists and researchers, especially those who try to understand ways for man to acquire the intelligence to deal with the natural environment in a more conscious and less destructive way.

Because of its breadth and depth, environmental ethics is clearly of great importance for the present day, gaining more and more prominence starting its mediatization nowadays with recycling and sustainability. The increase in awareness in relation to the environment makes it increasingly clear the impacts caused by human action on nature and shows how disastrous the results can be in the absence of a proper ethical sense.

Sustainable development is defined as a new holistic ethics in which economic growth and environmental protection go hand-in-hand around the world. The moral philosophy of sustainable development views sustainable development as a holistic ethic that asserts the supremacy of the value of the ecological system (Holly, 2006**).

According to the basic premises of environmental ethics, men's attitudes should be measured according to the relationship they establish with themselves, their equals, and all living beings, without any hierarchy. A kind of perception that could help, and a lot, in resolutions to ensure a truly sustainable future for the planet.

Article By:
Rui Caldeira; Miguel Varela

* Palmer, Clare; McShane, Katie; Sandler, Ronald. Environmental Ethics Annul Review of environment and resource, vol.39:419-442 (Volume publication data October 2014) First published online as a review inadvance on August13, 2014;

** Holly, Marilyn. Environmental Virtue Ethics A Review of some Current Work, August 2006, Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 19(4):391-424 DOI:10.1007/s10806-006-9002-0

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